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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)


Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 270
Fresh: 174
Rotten: 96

Critics Consensus: Peter Jackson's return to Middle-earth is an earnest, visually resplendent trip, but the film's deliberate pace robs the material of some of its majesty.

Average Rating: 6.1/10
Reviews Counted: 48
Fresh: 22
Rotten: 26

Critics Consensus: Peter Jackson's return to Middle-earth is an earnest, visually resplendent trip, but the film's deliberate pace robs the material of some of its majesty.


Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 464,019


Movie Info

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey follows title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior Thorin Oakenshield. Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo … More

PG-13 (for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence and frightening images)
Action & Adventure , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
Peter Jackson , J.R.R. Tolkien , Philippa Boyens , Guillermo del Toro , Fran Walsh
In Theaters:
Mar 19, 2013
Box Office:
Warner Bros. - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

All Critics (270) | Top Critics (48) | Fresh (174) | Rotten (96) | DVD (4)

It frequently seems as though Jackson was less interested in making The Hobbit than in remaking his own fabulously successful Lord of the Rings series.

Full Review… | December 14, 2012
The Atlantic
Top Critic

My first thought in watching The Hobbit was: Do we really need this movie? It was my last thought, too.

Full Review… | December 14, 2012
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

To its own narrative detriment, "The Hobbit" works hard to lay the framework for what will follow. Certainly that's one way to set out on a trilogy, but it's surely not the best.

Full Review… | December 14, 2012
Denver Post
Top Critic

There's no denying the majesty in Peter Jackson's visuals but he's taken a relatively slim children's book and stretched it beyond the limits.

Full Review… | December 14, 2012
Top Critic

The repeated iterations of fight, flight and respite here get wearing. Especially perhaps because, with Jackson's fetish for detail, they take more time to watch on screen than to read about.

Full Review… | December 14, 2012
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" has finally arrived, not on wings of gossamer fancy but with a hairy-footed thud.

Full Review… | December 14, 2012
Washington Post
Top Critic

You may have seen Middle Earth before. But you haven't been IN Middle Earth.Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' has made it possible for you to feel like you're surrounded by the astonishing environment created by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Full Review… | April 28, 2014
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

With the first film pushing three hours, purists will be pleased. Less die-hard audiences will find a lot of meandering set-up - albeit visually gorgeous meandering setup.

Full Review… | April 23, 2014
Columbus Alive

Remember the joke that The Fellowship of the Ring was just a bunch of people walking around for three hours? In this case, it's actually true.

Full Review… | January 22, 2014
The Verge

An occasionally entertaining but empty fantasy epic...

Full Review… | December 2, 2013
Cinema Crazed

It rambles over hill and dale and mountain and field and forest and marsh and through cavern and catacomb and grotto and pothole...but will please the Tolkien faithful.

Full Review… | November 18, 2013

While the new scenes don't add much to the great film, the outstanding wealth of special features makes this one of the must-own Blu-rays of 2013.

Full Review… | November 4, 2013
We Got This Covered

It's like we returned to Disneyland to find it looking as magical as ever, but with most of the rides closed.

Full Review… | July 28, 2013

There are worse ways to kill time, sure; it's just that there is, alas, so much time to kill.

Full Review… | June 23, 2013

"Unexpected Journey" runs nearly three hours. That gives Jackson plenty of time to revive its magic [which he does] by triggering our good will toward the "Rings" trilogy. He evokes the trilogy's tone and its rhythms.

Full Review… | May 24, 2013
Sacramento Bee

As great as Serkis is, he can't begin to make 'The Hobbit' look anything but short.

Full Review… | May 13, 2013
The Patriot Ledger

The odd thing about the saying "too much of a good thing" is that it acknowledges the fact that, something, in general, is composed of an overabundance of excellence.

Full Review… | April 14, 2013
Film Racket

The Hobbit may not be as memorable as the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but it's a mostly faithful adaptation that sticks to the same tones and themes of the source material.

Full Review… | March 23, 2013
We Got This Covered

It's a journey that any fan of Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" Trilogy should enjoy.

Full Review… | March 21, 2013
Cinema Sight

Peter Jackson's return to Middle Earth feels familiar and unfulfilling.

Full Review… | March 3, 2013
Concrete Playground

If Jackson had focused simply on Bilbo's party and their attempts to get a proper homeland for the dwarves, 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' would have been a leaner, more engaging tale.

Full Review… | February 2, 2013
KC Active

Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien may like sitting through a 169 minute film, that easily could have been trimmed by at least 50 minutes. But, I was constantly aware of the long running time.

Full Review… | February 1, 2013
Movie Chambers

Whenever this movie suffers from lengthy prequel-itis and a weighty sense of expectations, it falls short. Still, for much of its 165 minutes, this epic has enough small moments and deft touches that it tugs you along with the power of a good story.

Full Review… | January 29, 2013
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

An Unexpected Journey offers an unparalleled visual spectacle

Full Review… | January 20, 2013
Fan The Fire

a drag-down, mildly diverting entertainment

Full Review… | January 10, 2013
Cinema Writer

When the dwarves turn up mob-handed, kicking off a night of boisterous revelry, the laboured jests and jollity seem to go on forever. And the combination of dwarves, forced humour and familiar faces off the telly turn the occasion into bad panto.

Full Review… | January 10, 2013
Movie Talk

Audience Reviews for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey


Turning one book into three films, fiddling with the story and adding new characters is all part of this shameless money-making machine after the success of the original films and will no doubt please the producers of the franchise greatly. To be honest, when it is all done to this high standard, why not? You should always read the book first kids, that is if you're interested, personally I was never a Goblins and Wizards kid, I was more into Dinosaurs and Astronauts so I have never and probably will never read the book. Not because I'm sure it's not good or anything, I just have about 1000 books I want to read first. I liked the film a lot, it's nice to see some new faces along side a few favourites from the LOTR films. I found it a lot easier to watch than I found the first film although it is a bit wishy washy at times. The camera lingers...are they safe...did they make it....yes, they made it, there are 2 more films to go and a ton of money to make, get on with it. I'm not sure the hard-core fans will like it but then they seemed to like Peter Jackson's self-indulgent LOTR trilogy, so I'm going to guess yes. As a non-fan, I thought it was still pretty good. My favorite thing about it has to be Sylvestor McCoy, he was brilliant.

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer


i really enjoyed this film, and i embrace it as a solid entry into this amazing franchise. the story was engaging and it was wonderful to get wrapped back up into middle earth for another 3 hours. however, although we all knew this would be a lighter tone than LOTR as it was written for a younger audience, the film was even more silly and light than it needed to be considering the source material and the earlier films. the hobbit should have a childlike quality, but again, this film was silly to a fault. the effects were also worse than LOTR despite advancements in technology due to peter jackson relying far too much on CGI where he would have used more practical effects in the previous films, and it made a negative impact on my ability to escape into the world of the film. the film is also a bit more aimless. the earlier films were more motivated, with more momentum in each scene, and this film sort of felt like it simply stumbled from moment to moment until the end. overall, fun, and worthwhile, but a missed opportunity for continued greatness.

danny d

Super Reviewer

A thrilling adventure. I liked all the songs and cute (but grubby) Dwarves. Peter Jackson took a little kids' storybook and Rankin-Bass cartoon and made it into an epic. It took itself less seriously than Lord of the Rings - the fate of the world seemed not at stake here. It was like a great D&D adventure. There was a load of backstory and subplots added to the story, which really makes it better overall.

Lafe Fredbjornson

Super Reviewer

There is so much to love about "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," and sometimes that particular fact overshadows what are a few minor problems with the film. It is a simple story, told in a very grand scale, about Dwarfs, accompanied by a Hobbit, who are on a quest to reclaim the Dwarfs homeland. Along the way, he comes across as mysterious ring, and the climax unfolds. This film has a very dark tone to it, with very excessive images, but the things that truly bugs me is the fact that it shifts back and forth from dark to comical too quickly, taking away some of the mood. Still, I highly enjoyed watching this film and the cliffhanger is incredible. I cannot wait for part 2 of this trilogy. It is no match for "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, but on it's own, it really has something going for it. It was also nice to seem some pretty awesome cameos from familiar faces. Overall, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is 100% worth it!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Quotes

You've been sitting quietly for far too long. Tell me. When did doilies and your mother's dishes become so important to you? I remember a young hobbit who was always running off in search of Elves in the woods. He'd stay out late, come home after dark, trailing mud and twigs and fireflies. A young hobbit who would've liked nothing better than to find out what was beyond the borders of the Shire. The world is not in your books and maps. It's out there.
– Submitted by Tom B (6 months ago)
Bilbo Baggins:
– Submitted by Jacob G (6 months ago)
True courage is knowing not how to take a life, but when to spare it.
– Submitted by Frances H (9 months ago)
Bilbo Baggins:
I'm going on an adventure!
– Submitted by Danny O (9 months ago)
I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay.
– Submitted by Maryam Z (9 months ago)
These are gundabad wargs. They will outrun you!
– Submitted by vijeyta R (16 months ago)

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